What are your top 5 most memorable cards?

Discussion in 'Classic Questions' started by Oversoul, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    I recently saw a video that posed this question. I'll find the video again at some point. I gave it some thought and found restricting it to just five cards to be a bit challenging. There are so many that would be honorable mentions, or ones that I'd really want to include. If it was "top 100" or something I could rattle off a bunch of cards, but top 5? I settled on these ones, myself...

    Dark Ritual
    Force of Will
    Wheel of Fortune
    Sol Ring

    Several other cards would be strong contenders, but this being so subjective, I tried to be honest with myself and that's what I came up with. I was tempted to try to strike some sort of balance, either by listing one card of each color or by showcasing cards from different eras of the game. I was also tempted to squeeze in some Power 9 cards or some obscure cards that hardly anyone used. But my most memorable decks/games/plays didn't follow a progression of the game's development over 20+ years, follow a strict color balance, or delve into very obscure cards. And I didn't actually get much gameplay in with Power 9 cards.

    Later, I looked at the video comments. I found the results interesting. Based on my very cursory examination, I noticed two distinct groups...

    1. People who chose 1990's cards exclusively or almost exclusively. Obviously I fall into this category. Several of the people apparently owned a piece of the Power 9 or other big, chase rare that was famous or expensive even back then, and of course it made their lists.
    2. People who mostly chose cards from the 2010's. Often they stated when it was they started playing, and they were much newer to the game than, well, us old-timers.

    Of course not every single person fits neatly into one of those two groups, but it seemed like it captured the majority of commenters. Anyway, I thought it was an interesting question to ask oneself, and was reminiscent of the topics in this subforum.
  2. Psarketos Metacompositional Theoretician

    Burning Wish
    Clifftop Retreat
    Enduring Renewal

    A composite of my favorite combo elements and the land that makes my favorite Nayan decks go (and more beautiful).
  3. TomB Administrative Assistant

    Icy Manipulator
    Howling Mine
    Bosium Strip
    Sacred Mesa
    Wrath of God

    Can you tell I haven't played competitively, or bought a whole hellofalot of cards since around Y2K? ;)
  4. turgy22 Nothing Special

    Thanks for bringing this back up, Psarketos. I missed it when it was originally posted.

    Oversoul, can you define "memorable?" Is this like a personal favorite, as in my most memorable that I played with (like my pet cards, ones I have fond memories of)? Ir is it more how I would define the most memorable cards in Magic? If I were asked to name the first Magic card that comes into my head, it would be Black Lotus, but I've never seen one in real life, much less owned or played with one. The the lists would be very different for me, depending on the context of the question. I guess I'll answer both ways, cause why not?

    Most Memorable (Big Picture)
    Black Lotus
    Ancestral Recall
    Wrath of God
    Lightning Bolt

    Most Memorable (Personal)
    Prodigal Sorcerer
    Llanowar Elves
    Hypnotic Specter
    Lightning Bolt
    Psarketos likes this.
  5. Psarketos Metacompositional Theoretician

    Bosium Strip and Sacred Mesa bring back some fun memories from my earliest days in Magic! :)
  6. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Yes, but I don't exactly remember the original context. I think it was closer to your "personal" category. I guess I thought of it as a kind of, "Which cards evoke the strongest and most meaningful memories for you?" Like, you put Lightning Bolt on both lists. That's a card that was definitely in contention on my list too, when I tried to narrow it down to just five cards. I put it in my own decks. I played against it in other people's decks. I saw a lot of it and the way it was played made it stand out in some way, whether you call it iconic, impactful, or whatever. From my own Burn deck, still running Lightning Bolt and Fireblast for 18 or 19 years and frequently opening games with a first turn Lightning Bolt to the face, to a time when I thought I was attacking for lethal damage and my friend David ruined my plans with double Lightning Bolt taking out two of my attacking creatures.

    Like I said, it's very subjective. I think some of the others ones named here, like Lightning Bolt, Counterspell, Hypnotic Specter, Wrath of God, Icy Manipulator, and Enduring Renewal are pretty close to making my list. In contrast, some that are memorable but not really in contention for my "most memorable" would include...

    Teremko Griffin: I think it was the first Magic card I ever saw, so when I see the art I get mentally snapped back to standing in a little game store in eastern Kent over 20 years ago and the owner pulling a card out of a box and explaining the concept of a CCG to me for the first time. But I didn't see the game much in actual games and it doesn't really matter to me that much.

    Juzam Djinn: It was famous as the rarest and most expensive creature of them all, when I was new to the game. Back then, it was also actually a very efficient card that was practically unrivaled for what it did. So of course I wanted it. But I don't own it and never played with or against it in real life. I did use it in the old PC game. I'll never forget the card or its art, but I don't think it can achieve the same level of memorability as cards that I personally played both with and against extensively.

    Morphling: Came out around the time I was starting to actually become coherent at Magic deckbuilding and soon went on to be a powerhouse. I used the card myself in multiple decks, but really only when I was in high school. That's when Morphling was "Superman." But at some point, things started going downhill for Morphling and, these days it's just another creature and not really remarkable except for historical reasons. I probably wouldn't bother putting Morphling into a deck these days with so many other options, and it's been over a decade since I've seen anyone actually use the card. Oh, it's still memorable, but not so much so that I'd think of it as top 5.

    Diabolic Edict: An old favorite of mine that was almost always my go-to removal spell for creatures. I put the card in lots of decks and, at one point due to a mixup, I had to hunt for original Tempest copies because I'd been stuck with only reprints of the card. It's pretty popular, but even so I think it's almost always been underrated. But it's fallen by the wayside a bit due to a number of factors. There's the existence of Swords to Plowshares, the increase in creature recursion effects, the rise of superior token generators, and the decrease in control decks running a single protected creature as a kill condition. Still a great card, but not as important as it used to be.
  7. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I'll just do top 5 personal

    Shivan Dragon
    Serra Angel - these two were in my first starter (Revised) and their "fatness" just screamed "play me!"
    Sol Ring - again in that starter and helped get them out
    Darkpact - we played with ante in those early days and this caused Serra to go back and forth
    Library of Alexandria - the only card I bought for $20(!) when trying to duplicate Zak Dolan (I think) Championship deck
  8. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Was it a Stasis deck? He did win the first championship ever with a Stasis deck (and it did have one copy of Library of Alexandria).

    Subjective as all of this is, it sure seems like Serra Angel and Shivan Dragon are the "right" answers when it comes to this stuff in that they were the most important "big" creatures for so many people. "Revised" seems like a bit factor in that. I think Revised Sol Ring became, unbeknownst to us, the next incarnation of ubiquitous mana acceleration for those players who didn't get in on the original Mox craziness. And that was a lot of people. Nostalgia for that is probably the reason Sol Ring is considered acceptable in Commander, despite the card being clearly better than nearly anything that the Rules Committee banned.

    It's probably the most influential set for me too and I wasn't even playing back then! My first core set was Fifth Edition. But Revised was still very widely available and popular for all the awesome stuff that didn't make it into Fourth/Fifth Editions. I think I own more cards from Revised than from any other set. Pretty close to having full playsets of everything in it. Makes me wonder how things would have gone if, in place of the "Revised" edition, they'd printed the "Unlimited" edition one more time. I'd have fewer copies Aladdin's Lamp, but more copies of Black Lotus. :p

    That just might be the only card anyone has named in this thread that surprises me!
  9. Psarketos Metacompositional Theoretician

    I have never seen Darkpact before, and it is an amazing card.
  10. turgy22 Nothing Special

    So Spidey wins?

    Two cards that almost made my list were Force of Nature and Rock Hydra. I never really played with them myself, but when I was first introduced to Magic, before I even knew how to play, they stood out as being really awesome. The Force I saw in someone's deck where no other creature, I think, had more than 3 power (plus the artwork on the original was awesome). Rock Hydra, I just heard about in a multiplayer game where someone had gotten a ridiculous number of counters on it... something in the eighties, IIRC. Nowadays I don't think much of either card, but back in the day, I felt those were the gold standards in creatures.
  11. Psarketos Metacompositional Theoretician

    My early days were spent playing against a UB control mage, so while I always wanted Serra Angel to work, I quickly learned that Mtenda Lion and a lot of friends would do through speed, numbers, and obfuscated play decisions what a single beautiful threat could never manage.
  12. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Yes, but for Darkpact. Not for Serra Angel and Shivan Dragon.

    Well, Force of Nature was the biggest creature when the game first started and if you had an Alpha copy (I didn't and don't), you had yourself a real Magic card with the word "GGGG" printed in its text box, which is pretty cool. I do have Alpha Unsummon, so I do get the phrase "enchantments on creature are CARD ed."

    Rock Hydra is just weird, though...
    During upkeep, new heads may be grown for RRR apiece? This is weird. You are weird, Turgy.
    Psarketos likes this.
  13. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    It may have been. Or Bertrand's deck. I'd have to see their decklists again.

    Woot! :D I wasn't playing for winning though...

    It was weird that Serra kept coming for ante at all, the decks being 40-60 cards (not sure we stuck to the 60 cards in those days). But we (or I at least) always hoped for Darkpact to swap it out when it did or we had a chance of losing it... there were other cards going back and forth, of course, but none as game-changing as Serra in those days.
    Oversoul likes this.
  14. Shabbaman insert avatar here

    The first three are easy.

    Survival of the Fittest
    Recurring Nightmare
    Hymn to Tourach

    RecSur is special to me. This was the deck that motivated me to look beyond the kitchen table. Hymn is probably the card that gave me the most fun playing it: the fear in the eyes, the minigame of trying to make that one card dodge the random discard.

    The other two are more difficult. I could make a point of Strip Mine, Disk, Skullclamp Sword of Fire and I've, or Entomb, maybe even Yavimaya Elder. But it has to be Grave Pact because that is basically what all my decks evolve to these days, plus Glissa the Traitor because she's my favorite general.
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